Slip and Fall on Grease In a Parking Lot

In Van Wye v. Robbins (1941) 48 Cal. App. 2d 660, 120 P.2d 507, the defendant ran a market adjacent to a service station. He had an arrangement with the service station allowing his customers to park in the latter's lot. An elderly man walking out of the market to his car slipped and fell on grease "which in all probability had fallen from a car which was being greased on a rack located on the service station premises." (Id. at p. 662.) The defendant "conceded that he never inspected the parking area to see whether it was free of grease or not." (Ibid.) The trial court found the grease had probably been present for more than 20 minutes. The appellate court held this evidence was sufficient to justify the factual finding that this was sufficient time to put the defendant on constructive notice.